Hi, I’m Trudi Ryan and welcome to

Words for Change.


Twenty-five years in environmental communication have taught me this: facts don't compel, fear doesn’t work, no-one wants your fight, and humans struggle to comprehend threats that are distant in space and time.


In the great swirl of messages out there, we are really up against it. We need to understand how and why we feel and act as we do in response to messaging if we are to cut through, engage audiences and activate behavioural change. 


Concepts from such fields as evolutionary psychology and cognitive linguistics offer great promise when applied to strategic values-based communication.


Please get in touch if I can help you make the most of your work and take your ideas further. I offer strategic communication planning; training and workshops on values-based communications and message framing; narrative, scientific and persuasive writing; and editing services including academic editing, structural editing, copyediting and proofreading.

I work with practitioners, authors, students, academics, educators, candidates, advocates, researchers, publishers, 

community groups, not-for-profits, regional organisations, universities, research institutions, government agencies and people everywhere seeking to take their ideas further.  

Dr Trudi Ryan

Words for Change


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ecology) Deakin University 

  • Graduate Diploma (Marketing Communication) University of Canberra

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Environmental Management) Deakin University  

  • Accredited Editor (Institute of Professional Editors)


  • Winner: Victorian Community Action and Leadership Award 2019 (Keep Victoria Beautiful Sustainability Awards).


  • Words that Work Messaging Masterclass with Anat Shenker-Osorio (Centre for Australian Progress)

  • Introduction to Common Cause (Common Cause Australia)

  • Common Cause Masterclass (Common Cause Australia)

  • Framing Powerful Political Messages (Delft University of Technology)

  • Journalism for Social Change (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Framing Fundamentals (Frameworks Academy)

  • Framing for Climate Interpreters (Frameworks Academy)

  • Environmental Communication: Research to Practice (International Environmental Communication Association)

  • Understanding Climate Science Denial (University of Queensland)

  • Organising for Change (Progress Australia)

  • Digital Storytelling (Digital Storytellers)

  • What Publishers Want. Workshop with Pearson, MacMillan, Oxford University Press, Lonely Planet and Text (Editors Victoria)

  • Advanced Proofreading (Editorial Freelance Association, USA)

  • Typography and Readability (Editors Victoria)

  • Reading for speed and comprehension (Kwik Learning Academy, USA)

Professional memberships​​

  • International Environmental Communication Association

  • Institute of Professional Editors (Australia)

  • Editors Victoria

Previous employment

  • National R&D Communications (Land & Water Australia)

  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow (CSIRO)

  • Lecturer/Tutor - Ecology, Biology, Botany, Environmental Management (Deakin University; Goulburn Ovens TAFE; Holmsglen TAFE)

  • Public Land Manager (Dept. Natural Resources & Environment)

  • National Park Ranger - Interpretation and Community Education (Dept. Conservation & Natural Resources)


CURRENT Volunteer

Community Development Roles

  • Helen Haines, Independent for Indi - Campaign Strategy and Advice team; Campaign Communications team

  • Resilience Planning Community of Practice - Communications, Administration

  • St Joseph's Primary School Beechworth - Board

  • Indigo Shire Council Grants and Awards - Committee

Current projects

I am currently working on a range of strategic communication projects for government agencies and non-government organisations across the social and environmental sectors.

I work on values-based messaging and framing across a range of topics and issues including natural resource management, urban waste management, climate change, education, community connectedness, community-driven politics and philanthropy. 


We work with:

  • Melbourne Water

  • Finding Strengths - The Centre for Continuing Education and Department of Justice and Community Safety

  • Quercus: Beechworth Community Centre

  • Upper Murray Regional Neighbourhood House Network

  • Oxford University Press

  • IUCN - International Union for the Conservation of Nature

  • Pearson Publishing

  • CSIRO 

  • Stockholm Resilience Centre

  • Voices for Indi

  • Regional Development Victoria

  • The Australian National University

  • Into Our Hands Community Foundation

  • Western Sydney University

  • La Trobe University

  • RMIT University

  • Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (SA)

  • Natural Resources Kangaroo Island

  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority

  • Land & Water Australia

  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority

  • Greening Australia

  • Sydney Coastal Councils Group

  • Winton Wetlands Committee of Management

  • Australian Resilience Centre

  • Resilience Planning Community of Practice

  • Transformation for resilient landscapes and communities partnership

  • Sustainable Cities Initiative 

© Words for Change 2019